According to Keats, what is a poet?

Discussion on the works of John Keats.

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According to Keats, what is a poet?

Postby ro » Sat Sep 24, 2005 10:46 pm

Hi everyone! My name is Rocío, and I am from Argentina. My English Literature teacher asked us to answer the following question: What is a poet according to Keats? I hope you can help me!
Thanks,
Rocío :P
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Postby poems are gay » Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:43 pm

yes i think i mite be able to help you there. hmmmmm oh yes here it is. according to keats a poet is a self obsessed tosser who doesnt have a clue about anything except trying to rhyme words like a big fucking loser. p.s. poems are shiiittte!!!!!!!
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Postby Saturn » Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:14 pm

Don't listen to anything this idiot says. :evil: :evil:
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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What Keats Says

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:39 pm

Read Keats' letters! He has plenty of information on what he thinks a poet is! And read Shelly's In Defense of Poetry, that expresses what Keats and his friends thought about real poetry.
But Keats' letters are easy to find.

And as for that idiot that thinks Keats uses "big words";he just exposed his ignorance and idiocy by exposing his intimidation of Keats' English. Anyone claiming someone is using "BIG WORDS" probably has a small reproductive organ.
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Re: What Keats Says

Postby Saturn » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:35 pm

MonroeDoctrine wrote: Anyone claiming someone is using "BIG WORDS" probably has a small reproductive organ.
:lol: :lol:
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Postby wildechild76 » Sat Nov 18, 2006 5:15 pm

To the above written: "according to keats a poet is a self obsessed tosser who doesnt have a clue about anything except trying to rhyme words"........ I think you might be on to something. Keats really didn't have a clue about anything except poetry. I liked how you used the present tense in the word "doesn't." That speaks for itself. Keats's petition for immortality has just been affirmated by yourself even though I'm quite sure that was not your intent. To answer the question posted in this forum I can only quote Keats from a letter he wrote Richard Woodhouse in 1818...."The Poetic Character enjoys light and shade. What shocks the virtuous philosopher, delights the chameleon poet. It does no harm from its relish of the dark side of things any more than from its taste for the bright one because they both end in speculation. A poet is the most unpoetical of anything in existence because he has no identity. He is continually informing and filling some other body..."
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Postby Heaven/Hell » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:23 pm

"If the poems don't come as naturally as leaves to the tree, then they had better not come at all".
"Language has not the power that Love indites: The Soul lies buried in the ink that writes" ~ John Clare
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Postby Malia » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:45 pm

Heaven/Hell wrote:"If the poems don't come as naturally as leaves to the tree, then they had better not come at all".


Hmm. . .I know Keats said that, but I'm not sure it's true--even in his case. I think that's Keats's youth talking. Sure, sometimes a great poem just flies out of one's subconscious and those poems are absolute gifts--but there is so much *craft* involved in writing poetry. There is a lot of work. One of Keats's great (unfinnished) poems did not come easily to him--of course I'm talking about Hyperion. And there were quite a few others he wrote and edited and pulled his hair out over and edited again. I agree that inspiration should be something that comes relatively easily--a poet needs to be "tuned in" to the poetical universe, as it were, and be able to see the world in a new and different way (just as all great writers and artists do), but writing well involves a lot of hard work and great craft. Keats, himself, wrote crap early on in his career. I mean, truly, a lot of his juvenilla (sp?) was terrible. But after working hard at it (and, I admit, with a liberal dose of genius mixed in there), he was able to write masterpieces.

OK, rambling done--must eat breakfast and wake up now :LOL:
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Postby Heaven/Hell » Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:15 pm

You're right, Malia, in saying that not every single line or stanza of the great poems were divinely inspired by the creative unconscious, but the Apollos of the poetry world, those at the peak of their craft, like Shakespeare, Milton and Homer, they always spoke of the 'Muses'. Shelley wrote Prometheus arguably dedicated to this (when he wasn't trying to be a Poet of Nature, like his hero Wordsworth). Maybe some 'conscious' tinkering is involved, but the ideas or the landscapes were predominantly fixed in their minds, all they had to do was "walk through the landscape", if you will.

"Poetry should... should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance."
"Language has not the power that Love indites: The Soul lies buried in the ink that writes" ~ John Clare
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Postby dks » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:23 pm

Heaven/Hell wrote:"Poetry should... should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance."


Ahhh...I love that quote!! I used that in a paper of mine for a Romantics class...it is so Keatsian down to its every syllable...notice his genius use of verbs--"strike" (an intense word) and "appear" (a ghostly word) and, of course, that poetry or, rather, sensation, should be a "remembrance"--that is so synaesthetic...and so pertinent to my thesis! He also said "touch has a memory." All of his missives and work recall moments of sensation which act like built-in mnemonics for him...a true and utter gift for analogy is born out of this ability, not to mention a divine capability to empathically project himself into his surroundings--which is his Camelion Poet philosophy in a nutshell.

:oops: Sorry...I'm rambling in a dither here... :lol:
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Postby Heaven/Hell » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:12 pm

dks wrote: :oops: Sorry...I'm rambling in a dither here... :lol:


Yes, Keats' words do have the tendency to have that effect on people - he has this rather annoying ability of phrasing things just perfectly, with nothing needing adding or taking away... :)
"Language has not the power that Love indites: The Soul lies buried in the ink that writes" ~ John Clare
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Postby Saturn » Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:21 pm

Damn his eyes, the bounder :lol:
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Re:

Postby Wynn » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:02 am

Malia wrote:
Heaven/Hell wrote:"If the poems don't come as naturally as leaves to the tree, then they had better not come at all".


Hmm. . .I know Keats said that, but I'm not sure it's true--even in his case. I think that's Keats's youth talking. Sure, sometimes a great poem just flies out of one's subconscious and those poems are absolute gifts--but there is so much *craft* involved in writing poetry. There is a lot of work. One of Keats's great (unfinnished) poems did not come easily to him--of course I'm talking about Hyperion. And there were quite a few others he wrote and edited and pulled his hair out over and edited again. I agree that inspiration should be something that comes relatively easily--a poet needs to be "tuned in" to the poetical universe, as it were, and be able to see the world in a new and different way (just as all great writers and artists do), but writing well involves a lot of hard work and great craft. Keats, himself, wrote crap early on in his career. I mean, truly, a lot of his juvenilla (sp?) was terrible. But after working hard at it (and, I admit, with a liberal dose of genius mixed in there), he was able to write masterpieces.

"Naturally"... Don't you think the process of revising and rewriting is natural? Is Keats really talking about an idealized tree? [A tree planted on a hill, lifting its boughs to the sun, rustling in the breeze, ignorant of the big bad world around it, etc., etc.,...] Does not a tree have to fight against the elements in order to sprout those leaves, just as a poet has to revise, rethink, try, fail, try again to sprout poems? Keats, I think, was very apt at thinking metaphorically, so I think he'd agree with my interpretation of his saying. (Let's not get too modern in our definitions.)
"Never trust a poet who can't construct a stanza."
— Clive James
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Re: According to Keats, what is a poet?

Postby Maureen » Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:38 pm

I agree one of the lovely things about Keats is our ability to glean from his letters what was going on in his mind regarding the business of poetry. He was indeed a philosopher as well as poet.

One of the things that struck me when I saw some original mauscripts in the British Museum years ago was the obvious flow of the writing in some of Keats' most famous poems. There was the first page of 'Nightingale' with the odd word crossed out and the correction written alongside, clearly revised as he wrote, but essentially the first draft is the one that endured. In comparison there were poems by TS Eliot and Wilfred Owen which had clearly been re-read and extensively redrafted, with crossings out and words rewritten in the margins and over the top of the original lines, indicating a correction made after the whole verse had been written. In some cases the original was almost unrecognisable as the finished version.

When he was truly inspired, it seems to me there were times whe poetry really did come to him as naturally as leaves to a tree - and these resulted in his most amazing works.
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